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September 21, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5A

What I learned this summer

Sexy dudes make for sexy porn.

A rry'Humpday'

Ma
thi

We
we've
thing
probat
not sa
under
circun
es
withot
added
of alt
chanc
matter
tion or
nights
of an
straig]
day,"
who, a
ing, de
phy to

le bonding leads Ben (relative newcomer Mark
Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua
to gay porn in Leonard, "Prom Night") are col-
lege buddies who haven't seen
s touching romp each other in 10 years. So when
they do, a night of celebration is in
By HANS YADAV order. After a gratuitous amount
Daily Arts Writer of drinking, old college rivalries
surface and suddenly Ben and
've all had that night when Andrew find themselves locked
either said or done some- in a game of machoism, with the
that we two perpetually trying to one-up
bly would the other. The topic of an indepen-
ay or do * dent, amateur porn contest comes
normal up, and the friends throw around
nstanc- Humpa the idea of two straight guys "bon-
(especially At the ing" on camera as a potential art
it the Michigan project. The cards are on the table,
effects Magnolia and throughout the rest of the
ohol). But . film, Ben and Andrew probe each
es are, no other about who will follow the
r how outlandish the situa- plan through to the end and who
r atmosphere, most of these will be the one to back out.
do not involve the filming The male ego, in all its com-
erotic movie featuring two petitive and often impulsive deci-
ht guys. But that's "Hump- sion-making glory, is hilariously
a movie about two friends satirized in "Humpday." A friend-
fter a crazy night of party- ly game of basketball between
cide to make gay pornogra- Ben and Andrew turns into a ball-
gether. hogging spectacle, ending with

the two entangled on the ground
cursing as passers-by curiously
watch. Even harmless conversa-
tion between the buddies devolves
into conflict as each person takes
a defensive stance and attacks
the other's psyche at opportune
moments. As ridiculous and over-
the-top as the scenes may at first
appear, a certain level of truth
about male megalomania is pain-
fully apparent.
Ben's and Andrew's exchanges
and exhibitions are made more
genuine through the detailed
camerawork. The movie plays out
like a home video - informal with
a lot of focus on the characters'
faces and dialogue. The mostly
improvised conversations are a
critical component in creating the
dynamic between two guys in a
strange situation neither wants
to back out of. On the downside,
a lot of useless banter is thrown
in. While the idle chitchat makes
sense given the real-life nature
of the film, it starts to feel a little
lengthy for viewers. Minus these
See HUMPDAY, Page 9A

or me, this pastasummer can
be effectively summed up by
the following three items:
car detailing, a casual mental break-
down and music
festivals. But
for the purpose
of this column, N
I'll focus on the
music festivals.
Now, this
beingthe sum-
mer of threes, JOSH
I went to three BAYER
music festivals:
Pitchfork Music Festival in Chi-
cago, Detroit Jazz Festival and the
Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
But for the purpose of this column,
I'll focus on the first two.
The latter can be effectively
summed up by the following three
items: I paid $30 for a green wrist
band, I saw a man who had shaved
a checkerboard pattern into his leg
hair and I saw Flying Lotus. Flying
Lotus was incredible.
At this point in my music-listen-
ing career, I'm turning into a little
bit of an asshole. Of course, I went
though my little-kid-in-a-candy-
store period when I discovered
indie music and realized there's
more to life than "Hot in Herre."
But two things happened this sum-
mer that started making me feel a
little bit jaded: I started listening
to a lot of jazz music and I attended
the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Before I get too many hipster-
propelled tomatoes launched at me,
let me expound: There were a lot of
great acts at Pitchfork. Watching
The Flaming Lips get birthed from
a gigantic vagina on a video screen
was a life-changing experience.
The National put on a much more
intense show than its broodingly
bookish discography would ever
suggest. And Grizzly Bear kicked
ass. Period.
But a festival should be more than
its headliners and, sadly (for me at
least), Pitchfork was not. Save for
Yeasayer, I did not see one "minor"
band that I felt was anything more
than a one-trick pony, regurgitated
from the bowels of much cooler,
more original ponies (who know a

hell of a
The p
commor
indie Sp
like toc
to call tI
ently). N
such lin
isn't on1
they the
they pla
pop to k
mittent]
formula
chord pi
punk-te
beats (w
playing,
percent
this que
music ti
ing - or
why the
in the fi
Pitc
is,
is
Thisi
band ne
groundl
great ex
honed a
havingc
deftly c
indie pe
own spi
to see al
rock bar
like Am
when th
is suppo
things t
the mail
Enter
left. Her
through
even he
blown a
is intrin
indie? N
think an
empiric

lot more tricks). genre (unless that genre is neo
poster child for this least- country, in which case it's inferior
n-denominator, processed to all other genres). But I certainly
'am is a little three-piece I feel that the least-common-denom-
all The Thermals (they like inator bands at Jazz Fest trumped
hemselves that too, appar- the shit out of the least-common-
lever in my life have I heard denominator bands at Pitchfork.
ear, derivative music that Jazz music is all about improvi-
the radio. By no means are sation, and improvisation usually
worst band in the world - packs a high interest quotient.
yed decent enough power Which isn't to say it doesn't have
eep my head bobbing inter- its pitfalls - in fact, jazz music
ly. But their transparent can be just as structurally formu-
* of straight-up-and-down laic as indie music. Straight-ahead
rogressions over relentlessly jazz like hard bop often consists
mpo boom-boom snare of virtuosos simply taking turns
vith the bass and guitar spitting freewheeling solos over
the same exact part for 90 a relatively unchanging rhythm
of the set) begged me to ask section. In essence, the genre is
stion: If you're going to play rigidly structured on a complete
hat's doing absolutely noth- lack of structure. And after a long
at least nothing new - then day at Jazz Fest, sitting through
hell are you making music an entire bop set left me craving
rst place? more unpredictability via - com-
pletely paradoxically - a little bit
more structure.
hfork Festival ut the fact that hearing these
hfryF siv l musicians taking turns exorcising
c o but-jazz their souls through their instru-
COOl, L t jZZ ments is considered run-of-the-mill
way cooler. at this sort of festival is incredible
Way CO er'to me. By definition, all genres
are goingto feature music that's
"generic." And I find it fascinating
isn't saying thatevery that, in the case of jazz music, this
eds to be doingsomething generic-ness comes in the form of
breaking. Deerhunter is a virtual anarchy. Hence, my recent
ample of a band thathas love affair with jazz (although the
very distinctsound without ring on my finger still currently
done anything otherthan belongs to indie).
ollagingthe remains of the Fittingly, my favorite act between
'digree and puttingtheir both festivals was Tortoise, far and
n on it. It just feels ironic , awaythe jazziestband at Pitch-
1 these dime-a-dozen indie fork (with a little bit of luck, they
nds gathered at Pitchfork could probably even land a spot at
erican Apparel mannequins Jazz Fest). Soare they indie or are
e very term "indie rock" they jazz? Probably neither (and
sed to denote bands doing both). And that's whyI like them
oo exciting and offbeat for so much. Because when I'm listen-
nstream to digest. ing to music, I don't give two Regis
r Detroit Jazz Festival, stage Philbins what genre it is. In fact, I
re, I can saunter in halfway like it best when I can't figure it out
the set of a band I've never at all. I just wantto go on an adven
ard of and be completely ture. So take me on an adventure,
way. Is this because jazz goddamnit.

sically a better genre than
Jo, not in the least. I don't
ay one genre can be deemed
ally superior to any other

Bayer wants to start an indie-
jazz-fusion band. Mock his first
album at jrbayer@umich.edu.

m
'1
0
Send a right-side-up e-mail
to battlebots@umich.edu
for an application.

rl F REE
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Your t
that c

. '",C

Humankind in his future world has
learned how to thrive in harmony with
a flourishing Nature. In one homeland,
however, women are oppressed. Now
they awaken to their rage-and the men
have all the weapons.
Clementa
a novel

Jim Martin

I

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